Halftime: UTSA men knock down 11 threes and open 53-34 lead on Tulsa

Halftime

The UTSA Roadrunners played one of their better halves of the season Wednesday night, knocking down 11 three-point baskets en route to a 53-34 halftime lead on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

After missing their first eight shots in the game, the Roadrunners surged, hitting 16 of 35 from the field and 11 of 21 from three. Jordan Ivy-Curry paced UTSA with 12 points, while Chandler Cuthrell had 10 and Dre Fuller Jr. nine. The three of them combined for eight field goals from behind the three-point arc, including three each by Cuthrell and and Fuller.

Point guard Christian Tucker had seven points and 10 assists for the Roadrunners, who were attempting to win a second consecutive game for the first time since Dec. 10.

Pre-game

The Roadrunners will get a chance to make amends for their most lopsided loss of the season tonight when they host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Convocation Center. Tulsa, playing at home, trounced UTSA 107-78 on Jan. 17. Redshirt freshman guard PJ Haggerty from Crosby, Tex., led the Golden Hurricane who shot 59 percent from the field. Both teams have three games remaining in the regular season.

Records

Tulsa 14-13, 5-10
UTSA 9-19, 3-12

Coming up

UTSA at SMU, Saturday, 2 p.m.

Baseball: UTSA rallies on the road to stun Houston

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Ruger Riojas pitched three scoreless innings following an offensive explosion that featured three straight solo homers and six straight runs, as the UTSA Roadrunners rallied on the road to beat the Houston Cougars, 8-7, Tuesday afternoon.

UTSA's Ruger Riojas pitching against Incarnate Word on March 1, 2023, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Ruger Riojas yielded one hit across three scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season. – File photo by Joe Alexander

It was UTSA’s best victory of the season, a welcome development for a ball club that had lost five of its first eight.

Credit the Roadrunners for not dropping their heads after they fell behind by five runs against the Cougars, who are playing their inaugural season as a member of the Big 12. Houston bunched four hits and scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to open a 7-2 lead.

UH leadoff man Jake Rainess sparked the outburst with a double. Rainess, a transfer who played for the America East champion Maine Black Bears last season, finished the day with two hits and two runs scored.

After the Cougars took charge, the Roadrunners answered in the top of the sixth with three straight, no-out home runs — first by Caleb Hill and then by Matt King and Alex Olivo. For Hill, it was his second homer of the game and his fourth of the season. All of the blasts in the sixth came off lefthander Jose Torrealba.

Just like that, the UTSA bench was energized. The visiting team, losers of two of three at the Houston-area Sugar Land Classic last weekend, added three more runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead.

Hill drove in one run with a single, his third hit of the day. King followed with a triple to center to make it 7-7 and then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Meanwhile, Riojas entered the ball game in the bottom of the seventh as the sixth Roadrunners pitcher of the day. He would also be the last.

Riojas pitched three scoreless, allowing only one hit, to finish off the Cougars. The sophomore righthander from Wimberley struck out two and walked one.

In the ninth, Houston pinch hitter Kenneth Jimenez battled Riojas in his inning-opening at bat, only to pop up in foul territory to third. After that, Rainess struck out swinging and Alex Lopez flied to right.

Drake Smith (1-0) pitched 1 and 2/3 innings to earn his first victory of the season for UTSA. Riojas notched the nine-out save and lowered his earned run average to a team-leading 1.59.

Records

UTSA 4-5
Houston 6-2

UTSA season results

Feb. 16 – L, 9-10, UT-Arlington
Feb. 17 – W, 7-2, UT-Arlington
Feb. 17 – W, 2-1, UT-Arlington
Feb. 18 – L, 4-5, UT-Arlington
Feb. 20 – L, 10-14, at Tarleton State
Feb. 23 – W, 7-6, SFA at Sugar Land Classic
Feb. 24 – L, 1-4, Creighton at Sugar Land Classic
Feb. 25 – L, 3-5, Lamar at Sugar Land Classic
Feb. 27 – W, 8-7, at Houston

Coming up

Grand Canyon (Ariz.) at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Grand Canyon at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Grand Canyon at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Temple grinds out a 56-48 victory over the UTSA women

Jordyn Jenkins. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins produced 15 points and 10 rebounds, but the Temple Owls won 56-48 in a physical battle Thursday night at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The first-place Temple Owls held UTSA without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter Thursday night, riding a strong defensive effort to a 56-48 victory over the Roadrunners at the Convocation Center. The win was the fourth in a row for the Temple women. It also gave the Owls a 2-0 sweep over the Roadrunners in the season series.

Moreover, it was the first time in five games this season that the Roadrunners played a team in first place in the American Athletic Conference standings and lost. Over the past five weeks, UTSA had claimed victories in such situations over Charlotte, North Texas and UAB, all at home, and North Texas again on the road last Sunday in Denton.

Elyssa Coleman. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Elyssa Coleman (white jersey, No. 0) had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Leading by seven after the first quarter, the Roadrunners couldn’t capitalize on the fast start. The Owls kept hitting the offensive boards and finding their way to the free-throw line. On the night, Temple won the rebounding battle, 48-42, including a 22-10 edge on the offensive glass. The Owls also made a living at the line, knocking down 18 of 28 to UTSA’s 9 of 15.

“We got obliterated on the boards, and that’s really the story of the game,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said on the team’s radio broadcast.

Temple led by two at halftime and by three at the end of three periods. Oddly enough, the Owls missed 11 shots in a row at one point in the third and still led 43-40 going into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, UTSA came unraveled. The Roadrunners misfired on their first six shots. Meanwhile, the Owls were doing just enough on the offensive end to start pulling away. After corralling a defensive rebound, they rushed it up the court. Guard Tiarra East passed to Denise Solis, who knocked down a jumper for a 51-41 lead with 3:31 remaining.

UTSA never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

“We just couldn’t make a perimeter shot to loosen anything up at all,” Aston said. “And then they just got to the point where they didn’t want to shoot it because they were having maybe not a good night. I thought the 22 offensive boards were the difference in the game. We just couldn’t put our foot down on them, at all. Just one of those (nights). They outplayed us.”

Temple women's basketball coach Diane Richardson. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Temple women’s basketball coach Diane Richardson watched as her team forced 17 turnovers and outrebounded UTSA 22-10 on the offensive glass. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins came off the bench to produce 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Roadrunners. Center Elyssa Coleman had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Idara Udo, another member of the Roadrunners’ frontcourt, produced nine points and five boards. UTSA’s starting backcourt, meanwhile, struggled to find a rhythm. Three backcourt starters combined to shoot five for 21 from the field.

Guard Tiarra East led the Owls with 18 points, including 10 in the second half when she made eight of 10 at the free-throw line. Five-foot-six Aleah Nelson added 11 points and Demi Washington had 10.

Starting forward Rayne Tucker and Solis, a reserve center, came up big on the boards for Temple. Both had eight rebounds apiece and combined for seven on the offensive glass. Both Solis and Ines Piper, a forward, came off the bench to grab four offensive boards apiece.

Perhaps most frustrating for UTSA, Temple shot just 26.9 percent from the field and still managed to win. And a big win it was for the Owls, who are in the pole position coming down the stretch for the AAC regular-season title . Temple leads the race at 10-4, followed by North Texas and Tulsa at 9-5.

UAB and Rice are next at 9-6, followed by Charlotte and South Florida, both 8-7. East Carolina, SMU and UTSA are next at 7-7.

Records

Temple 16-10, 10-4
UTSA 13-12, 7-7

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Third quarter

As the game evolved into a defensive struggle, the Owls shot only two of 19 from the field in the third period. But they made up for it with numerous trips to the free-throw line. The Owls hit 9 of 13 at the line to forge a 43-40 lead on the Roadrunners. Conversely, UTSA did not get to the line in the quarter.

First half

Trailing by seven after the first period, the Owls retaliated with a 19-10 outburst to take a 30-28 lead at halftime. Guard Tiarra East and forward Ines Parker ignited a Temple rally in the second quarter.

East scored six points in a row for the Owls at one juncture. Roadrunners forward Jordyn Jenkins scored seven in the period to keep the Roadrunners in it. Jenkins hit three of five from the floor in the quarter, while the Roadrunners as a team managed only four of 15 afield.

Notable

The UT System on Wednesday approved a funding plan for UTSA’s proposed Volleyball and Basketball Training Facility. According to the UT System’s agenda, posted online, the facility will cost $35 million. Broken down, $15 million will come from Revenue Financing System Bond Proceeds, $10 million from designated funds and $10 million in grants from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. The facility will be built adjacent to the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence on the west end of campus. Construction is expected to start in 2025, with ‘substantial’ completion by August 2026 and ‘final’ completion in November of 2026.

UTSA women host first-place Temple tonight at the Convocation Center

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Undefeated in games against first-place teams in the American Athletic Conference, the UTSA women hope to win again against another league leader tonight when they host the Temple Owls at 6:30 at the Convocation Center.

Temple (15-10 overall) has won three in a row and five out of its last six to take the lead in the 14-team AAC race at 9-4. UTSA (13-11) has won two of its last three to move into sixth place at 7-6.

Over the past five and a half weeks, the Roadrunners have earned a reputation for beating AAC leaders, knocking off Charlotte, North Texas, UAB and North Texas again.

Most recently, they came away with their biggest road victory of the season when they downed North Texas 66-63 on Sunday afternoon in Denton. Forward Jordyn Jenkins, in her third game back after sitting out the first 21 recovering from a knee injury, led the way with 29 points off the bench.

In facing the Owls, the Roadrunners will meet a team that handed them a loss in their first AAC game. On Dec. 30, the newcomers to the conference played the Owls in Philadelphia and took a beating. Temple won 71-58 after dominating the fourth quarter, 20-12.

Afterward, UTSA coach Karen Aston credited the Owls’ guard play as making a difference in the outcome.

“Their guards were tough,” Aston said after the game. β€œ(They had) tough-minded guards, with the ability to rise up and make really tough shots.”

Backcourt players Aleah Nelson, Tiarra East and Demi Washington lead the Owls in scoring for the season. Against the Roadrunners in the first meeting of the season, guards Terriyonna Gary and Tristen Taylor played well late in the game.

Records

Temple 15-10, 9-4
UTSA 13-11, 7-6

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

South Florida men rally past UTSA

Carlton Linguard Jr. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Carlton Linguard Jr. had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against South Florida. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Joe Alexander

(Editor’s note: Jerry Briggs was not able to be at tonight’s game.)

South Florida outscored UTSA 12-2 over the final 3:05 of the game to avoid an upset and the Bulls won 66-61 in men’s basketball at the Convocation Center.

The victory keeps South Florida at the top of the American Athletic Conference at 13-1 and 20-5 overall. UTSA fell to 2-12 in conference and 8-19 on the season.

UTSA led 59-54 after Christian Tucker made two free throws with 4:00 left in the game. The Roadrunners’ only points the rest of the way came on a Carlton Linguard Jr. dunk with two seconds left.

South Florida scored eight of their final 12 points on free throws as UTSA was forced to foul late.

Christian Tucker. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Christian Tucker scored a team-high 15 points. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Tucker led UTSA with 15 points and six assists. Linguard had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks and Chandler Cuthrell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Selton Miguel led South Florida with 17 points off the bench and Chris Youngblood had 15 points. The Bulls turned 19 UTSA turnovers into 19 points.

The loss was the seventh in a row for UTSA. The Roadrunners play their next game on the road Saturday against North Texas before returning to the Convocation Center on Feb. 28 to play Tulsa.

Chandler Cuthrell. South Florida beat UTSA 66-61 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Chandler Cuthrell had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Baseball: Roadrunners take a 2-2 record on the road against the Tarleton State Texans

Ty Tilson. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Third baseman Ty Tilson and the UTSA Roadrunners emerged from opening weekend with a 2-2 record. Sandwiched around a doubleheader sweep on Saturday were one-run losses Friday and Sunday. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Pat Hallmark’s UTSA Roadrunners are set to play on the road for the first time this season. They’ll be in Stephenville on Tuesday afternoon to take on the Tarleton State Texans. First pitch is at 4 p.m.

Records

UTSA 2-2
Tarleton 1-2

Opening weekend

Last weekend, Roadrunners split four games at home against the UT Arlington Mavericks. Tarleton played on the road and lost two of three to Southeastern Louisiana.

Coming up

UTSA will play three games this weekend in Sugar Land at the Sugar Land Classic. On Friday, they’ll face the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at 3 p.m. Saturday, they’ll meet the Creighton Bluejays at 11 a.m. On Sunday, the Roadrunners will close out the three game with a 2 p.m. contest against the Lamar Cardinals. Next Tuesday, on Feb. 27, they’ll play at the University of Houston at 3 p.m. UTSA returns home to Roadrunner Field on March 1-3 to face Grand Canyon (Ariz.).

Jenkins scores a season-high 29 as the UTSA women beat first-place North Texas, 66-63

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Fast-improving forward Jordyn Jenkins scored 12 of her season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter Sunday as the UTSA Roadrunners defeated another first-place team in the American Athletic Conference women’s basketball race, downing the North Texas Mean Green 66-63 at the Super Pit in Denton.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins scored a season-high 29 points Sunday afternoon in her third game back after sitting out the first 21 in rehabilitation for a knee injury. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With the victory, UTSA (13-11, 7-6) split a two-game AAC road trip and swept a two-game, regular-season series against North Texas (19-6, 9-4).

UTSA, aided by 16 points from freshman guard Aysia Proctor and nine points and nine rebounds from junior center Elyssa Coleman, also improved to 4-0 on the season against first-place AAC teams. The Roadrunners are 3-0 at home and 1-0 on the road against squads leading in the standings.

The Mean Green were in first place both times they played the Roadrunners and were turned away twice in close games. On Jan. 31, UTSA won in its on-campus arena, downing North Texas 75-67 in overtime.

In that game, Jenkins had not yet been cleared to play. She sat out the first 21 games this season while rehabilitating a knee injury. Since her return, the Roadrunners have won two out of three, claiming the two victories against AAC contenders Alabama-Birmingham and now North Texas.

UTSA’s road win against its in-state rivals, at the Super Pit in Denton, may have been the team’s best of the season. The Mean Green had been 10-0 at home this season. They were also 5-0 in AAC games at home — until Jenkins, a high-scoring forward from Kent, Wash., showed up to play.

Jenkins hit 11 of 17 shots from the floor, including three of five from three-point distance. In the fourth period, she was at her best, hitting four for four from the floor and knocking down her only three-point attempt.

On one of her shots, she had the ball on the right side of the floor, about eight feet from the basket, when she turned and flipped in a left-handed scoop shot. The bucket gave UTSA a three-point lead with 40 seconds remaining.

Coming out of a time out, North Texas guard Dyani Robinson hit a shot to cut the UTSA lead to one. On the other end, Jenkins was fouled and sank two free throws with 27 seconds left for the game’s final points.

North Texas called time with 20 seconds left needing a three to tie. The Mean Green failed to get off a clean shot, as Shamaryah Duncan’s three from the right wing was deflected by UTSA’s Kyra White, clinching the victory for the Roadrunners.

Six-foot forward DesiRay Kernal paced North Texas with 16 points and 12 rebounds. As UNT’s top offensive threat, she wasn’t as effective as she has been, making five of 12 from the field. Another Mean Green threat, center Tommisha Lampkin, was hindered by foul trouble and played only 20 minutes. She finished with six points and six rebounds.

In the second and third quarters, the Mean Green started to play better team basketball. They hit six of 11 from the field and eight of nine at the free throw line in the second, outscoring the Roadrunners 21-16 in the period and taking a 34-30 lead at the intermission. After halftime, they came out energized and once again got the better of the visitors, opening the advantage to 52-46.

North Texas guard Jaauckland Moore made a three with three seconds remaining in the third, lifting the Eagles into their six-point lead.

Records

UTSA 13-11, 7-6
North Texas 19-6, 9-4

Coming up

Temple at UTSA, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Notable

After missing so much of the season, Jenkins is fast improving her conditioning. In her first two games, she played 11 minutes against UAB and 14 in a Wednesday-night loss at Tulsa. Against both UAB and Tulsa, she scored 11 in each game. Combined in those two games, she hit seven of 25 shots from the field. Jenkins followed with 24 minutes against North Texas and finished 11 of 17 from the floor. Her 29-point performance left the Mean Green faithful with long memories dismayed, as she scored 40 in the Super Pit last February in UTSA’s 68-67 overtime victory. The two games were played nearly one calendar year apart — from Feb. 20, 2023 to Feb. 18, 2024.

Temple snaps a 10-game losing streak by downing UTSA, 83-77, in AAC men’s basketball

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Leading by three with two minutes left, the Temple Owls broke it open down the stretch thanks to a Steve Settle three pointer, and then they went on to snap a 10-game losing streak with an 83-77 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

In an American Athletic Conference played game at Philadelphia, the Owls shot 45 percent from the field and knocked down eight threes to win for the first time since Jan. 7. UTSA has now dropped six straight and hasn’t won since Jan. 24.

Guard Hysier Miller scored 20 points to lead four Temple players in double figures. Settle finished with 16, followed by Jahlil White with 15 and Jordan Riley 12.

UTSA played the second half without floor leader Christian Tucker, who was disqualified just before halftime for leaving the bench area. Jordan Ivy-Curry led the Roadrunners with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. PJ Carter hit three three-point baskets and finished with 13. Dre Fuller Jr. had 11 points and four rebounds.

The Roadrunners shot 42.7 percent from the floor and made six three-point baskets.

First half

In a blow to the Roadrunners’ chances to win, guard Christian Tucker was ejected just before halftime. It all started when Temple guard Hysier Miller was trapped in the corner adjacent to the UTSA bench. Guarded closely by Roadrunners’ guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, Miller pushed off. Ivy-Curry fell backward and went down on the floor.

Tucker, who was not in the game at the time, stood up in front of the bench. Then he came out on the court, extending his hand to help Ivy-Curry get up. But, by rule, he was ejected, leaving UTSA short-handed for the second half. The Roadrunners went into the dressing room leading 41-34 after Ivy-Curry hit a free throw awarded on a technical foul against Miller for pushing off.

Records

UTSA 2-11, 8-18
Temple 2-11, 9-17

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Notable

Christian Tucker had one point, two rebounds and two assists at the time of his ejection. For the season, he was averaging 12 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists.

Baumann’s walkoff winner lifts UTSA to a doubleheader sweep

Aiden Baumann delivers the winning hit, and the UTSA Roadrunners celebrate a 2-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep of UT Arlington. – Video by UTSA athletics

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

On a cold and blustery February afternoon in San Antonio, pinch hitter Aiden Baumann’s two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored the winning run Saturday in a 2-1 victory for the UTSA Roadrunners over the UT Arlington Mavericks.

With the win, UTSA swept a doubleheader on the second day of the season. UT Arlington won the season opener Friday night, holding on in the ninth inning to take a 10-9 decision.

In response, the Roadrunners bounced back to claim victory in the first game of the double dip Saturday, winning 7-2 in seven innings. After a short break to catch their breath, the two teams played again, this time in a nine-inning contest.

Zach Royse pumps his fist after striking out the final batter he faced. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Zach Royse pumps his fist after striking out the final batter he faced. UTSA beat UT Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Baumann, a part-time player in his first appearance of the season and in only the 10th appearance of his career, delivered with a hit to right field that ended the day’s proceedings, giving UTSA a 2-1 edge in the season-opening series.

The two teams will play the finale of the four-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Roadrunner Field.

UTSA coach Pat Hallmark praised his players’ mental toughness in setting aside Friday night’s disappointment and responding with solid play, on a day with difficult weather conditions, to claim their first two wins of the season.

“It was a better day,” Hallmark said. “We just played tougher … You know, this game is not easy. Failure is part of it. Being able to fail and turn around and make the next play. All those little things.”

Someone asked Hallmark in the postgame about his team’s resilience.

“I said we were resilient today, but it’s (only) three games (into the season),” he said. “We need to be resilient 30 games into it. I hope we’re still as resilient (then) as we were today, and I think we will be. It’s a good sign.”

The first game of the day was highlighted by a few standout defensive plays, including one that featured second baseman Isaiah Walker leaping to catch a line drive and flipping the ball to second base to double off a runner, effectively taking away a couple of runs while ending the inning.

Third baseman Matt King also hit the highlight reel on a foul pop up that came down just outside the field of play. King dashed toward the falling spheroid on its descent, collided with a waist-high wall and made the catch while falling into an area where fans usually sit.

Ty Tilson. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Ty Tilson takes a rip during an at bat in Game 2 .of Saturday’s doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Starting pitcher Ruger Riojas earned the victory in allowing two runs in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. The sophomore from Wimberley struck out six while walking none.

In the second game, which started a little after 3 p.m., players, coaches and fans were fortunate that temperature rose into the high 40s on a sunny afternoon. But the wind whipped in from the northeast for the entire game, blowing so hard that it kept the flags fluttering constantly.

As for fans seated around the ball park in the shade, some huddled under blankets.

Others moved into sunny areas as the shadows extended. By the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the rightfield berm became a popular gathering spot. Fans stood with hands plunged into coat pockets, watching as both teams moved ominously toward what looked like it might be a 1-1 tie going into extra innings.

The Roadrunners, however, had other ideas. With lefthander Austin Wallace entering the game in the ninth for Arlington, UTSA’s Mark Henning opened the inning with a line shot that got past third baseman Tate Bethel and down the line.

Arlington leftfielder Ryan Ellis tracked it down and fired into second base, but by that time, Henning had a full head of steam, and he dove into second base head first — well ahead of the throw — for a double.

At that point, Wallace retired James Taussig and Ty Tilson on fly ball outs, with fans gasping on each play.

Taussig’s line drive to right field might have been one of the hardest hit balls all afternoon. It was a rocket. But it went straight to rightfielder Tyson Pointer for the first out. Tilson followed by stroking a ball into right center that looked like it had a chance to fall, only to have centerfielder Garrison Berkley come sprinting toward it to make a sliding catch for out No. 2.

Broc Parmer. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Catcher Broc Parmer worked nine innings behind the plate in the second game of a doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

From there, Hallmark elected to send Baumann, a right-handed batter, to the plate to pinch hit for the left-side hitting Dalton Porter.

Baumann came through with only his third hit in a UTSA uniform to win the game. Fittingly, when he sliced it down the rightfield line, some drama ensued. Pointer ran hard and dove for it. Just as the ball hit into his glove, it popped out onto the grass.

As Henning rounded third, raced for the plate and touched home for the winning run, one gaggle of Arlington fans seemed transfixed on the nearly spectacular catch that wasn’t made. With the ball on the turf, they fell silent. Meanwhile, UTSA fans celebrated, and Roadrunners players dashed out of the dugout and onto the field to mob Baumann.

Baumann said it was almost like a blessing that the wind was blowing in so hard.

“If the wind’s not blowing like that, the ball is probably caught,” he said. “When the wind’s blowing in like that, there’s always a chance.”

Baumann said the walkoff game winner was his second in the last calendar year. The first came last summer when he was playing summer ball in Jefferson City, Mo. His hit on Sunday had a different feel.

“This feels great,” said Baumann, who once played for the New Braunfels High School Unicorns. “We’re really close as a team. I know we’ve got a lot of new guys. But we’ve been around each other since the fall, working hard together. This means a lot for this team.”

Zach Royse and Braylon Owens pitched well to hold Arlington down. Royse worked six innings and allowed only a run in the fifth inning. In the meantime, he kept Arlington batters off balance, allowing only three hits while striking out six and walking three. Owens, meanwhile, yielded two hits in three scoreless innings to earn the win in relief. He struck out three and walked one.

Braylon Owens pitched the final three innings in relief and earned the win. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Braylon Owens pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in a 2-1 victory over UT Arlington. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s defense late in the game was solid, particularly first baseman James Taussig, who deftly dug out a couple of balls on throws from the infield.

Records

UT Arlington 1-2
UTSA 2-1

Coming up

UT Arlington at UTSA, Sunday at 1 p.m.
UTSA at Tarleton State, Tuesday at 4 p.m.

A photographer’s eye view of the Roadrunners on opening night

Pat Hallmark. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Pat Hallmark, in the blue shirt, pays a visit to the mound to make a point in Friday night’s season opener. – Photo by Joe Alexander .

The UTSA Roadrunners play the UT Arlington Mavericks in a doubleheader today, with a seven-inning game set for noon, followed by a nine-inning game that will start about 3 p.m. Arlington broke out to a couple of nine-run leads early in the season opener Friday night and then held on for a 10-9 victory. I wanted to share a package of photos by Joe Alexander. Here are some of his best images:

Relief pitcher Cooper Hrbacek. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Relief pitcher Cooper Hrbacek worked two scoreless innings in the opener to help the Roadrunners stay in the game. Hrbacek is from Abilene where he attended Wylie High School. He also played for McLennan College. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Hector Rodriguez. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Junior Hector Rodriguez joins the UTSA squad this season as a transfer from Galveston College. He played in high school at Houston Westside. – Photo by Joe Alexander.

Zane Spinn. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Shortstop Zane Spinn hails from Holland, Tex. He’s played in college at Temple JC and at Sam Houston State. – Photo by Joe Alexander.

Lorenzo Morresi. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Lorenzo Morresi, from Macerata, Italy, started at catcher for the Roadrunners. Morresi has played at New Mexico Junior College. He also represented Italy in the Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Starting pitcher Robert Orloski. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Hard-throwing pitcher Rob Orloski comes to UTSA from Middleton, Idaho. The Boston Red Sox selected him on the 20th round of the draft last summer. He elected to play at UTSA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Alex Olivo. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Alex Olivo started in the opener as a designated hitter. Olivo also plays first base. He comes to UTSA from Texas Southern. He played previously at Deer Park HS and Ranger College. – Joe Alexander.